Calcium chloride kits accurately measure the amount of moisture (in lbs) emitted in vapor by a concrete slab. Vapor emissions testing is the most widely accepted method to determine the moisture content emissions of a concrete slab.
- Highly recommended & required before installing hardwood and bamboo flooring over a concrete slab
- Inexpensive and easy to use
- Most accurate and widely accepted quantitative test method
- Peace of mind against liability for installation failures due to moisture
- Helps determine the level of vapor barrier needed when comparing flooring adhesives
- Meets ASTM F1869-16a standard
This test kit includes:
- A pre-weighted plastic jar with an airtight snap-on lid containing anhydrous calcium chloride
- A transparent plastic cover with pre-applied adhesive to create an airtight seal over the subfloor
Instructions for use:
- Using a scale that measures in grams, confirm the weight of the calcium chloride prior to testing
- Follow the included instructions to properly prepare the calcium chloride for the 24 hour test
- Weigh the calcium chloride after timed exposure
- Calculate your results using the Concrete Moisture Emission Calculator.
We do not provide installation services but have no fear as there are many high-quality contractors in your state and the majority will be eager to provide a free estimate over the phone or in the comfort of your own home. We recommend that you check out our helpful article titled 7 Tips For Choosing A Floor Installer.
Below are a few questions you will want to consider before placing your order:
1. What type of subfloor (usually plywood or concrete) will the floor be installed over?
2. Do you already have a specific plan to float, nail, or glue down the floor, and if so, why?
3. What other types of flooring will the floor be butting up to? Will you require transition pieces and how many?
4. How much flooring will you need to complete the job? Have you added waste?
5. When do you plan to start, and when do you need to receive the flooring material?
6. What kind of traffic do you expect on the flooring? Do you have kids, dogs, is it a commercial space?
7. Will you be installing the floor yourself, or hiring a professional?
Different flooring finishes require different cleaning solutions and methods, so we recommend you read our Bamboo Flooring Maintenance Guide carefully for your specific finish type.
As for cleaning solutions, for regular maintenance and spot cleaning it is hard to beat the Bam-Brite hard surface floor cleaner. Alternatively, you may use most standard floor cleaners approved for your specific flooring finish, such as Swiffer Wet Jet for Hardwood (if you have wood/bamboo), and Bona Hardwood Floor Care Kit. For spot cleaning, you can also use one cup of white vinegar mixed in with a half bucket of warm water, with a lightly damp mop, but do not use vinegar for regular cleaning as it can affect the finish PH balance and dull the luster over time.
Never steam mop or wet mop bamboo/hardwood floors, and never use mineral spirits, turpentine, or paint thinner on our floors. If you have a cleaning solution you are not sure about, make sure to test it on an out of the way area or sacrificial plank prior to using it on your floor, to ensure it does not damage the finish.
We highly recommend reading our Shipping Policy for a comprehensive explanation of our shipping processes.
We ship most freight orders (over 125 lbs) out within 4 business days of purchase, the average being 2 business days. For faster shipment of freight orders, we offer an Expedited Shipping option at checkout however please note that this simply means that we will ship the order out the next business day - it does not shorten the transit time once shipped. For small parcel orders we offer express UPS shipping options at checkout as well; please note that for express shipping services the order must be placed by 2pm EST in order to ship out that same day, otherwise we will process the shipment the next business day. We do not ship out orders, nor do the shipping companies deliver them, on weekends.
For residential lift-gate freight order deliveries, once the flooring order arrives at the local freight terminal, they will call you to schedule your delivery appointment, which is usually a 2-6 hour window on the day of your choosing (weekdays only) when possible. All deliveries are curbside as the freight companies do not offer inside delivery.
We do not sell color stain for our floors, as it is not stable outside of a controlled finish environment and would change hue over time; additionally, since wood floors are a natural product, shade lots can vary widely.
SCRATCHES AND GOUGES
Surface Scratches (white lines). Micro-scratches are much more obvious on dark flooring and are common and expected on prefinished hardwood flooring. You can use the products below to diminish these marks. Some customers have also had success in breaking a walnut in half and using the exposed edge to rub on the scratches. On most of our floors, micro-scratches will diminish over time just from walking on the floors, the friction of shoes against the scuff marks tends to make them fade away.
Deeper Gouges and Ruptured Surfaces (grooves or areas where stain was penetrated). For a gouge that has penetrated the finish as well as the stain, you can first use a marker that matches the color to remedy the discoloration. If you wish to fill the gouge there are several products in the market that you can find at local big box or hardware stores, including Mohawk Fil-Stiks, Picobello Floor Repair Kit, and Timbermate. Some products don't fully harden and thus shrink and expand with the floors, while others do harden may chip and break apart if walked on constantly so you'll want to avoid these products if the repair is in a high-traffic area. You also might be able to find a wax filler pen at your local big box store.
To touch-up problem spots where the finish may have worn through you can attempt to implement a light buffing to achieve the desired smoothness (with varying 80/12/150 screens) to and follow up with a matte-finish oil-based polyurethane for coating. Some installers have also reported success with Basic Coating's StreetShoe finish line. Please note you'll want to perform this repair on one entire room as attempting it in one area will make it stand out from its surrounding planks. We strongly recommend buffing a sacrificial plank or area and applying the polyurethane to that test section first to ensure the buffing and new finish application achieves the desired results. If you want to fully refinish your floor you can check out our article Can Bamboo Flooring Be Refinished?
**Important: Please note that the comments above are only recommendations and that each installer uses these tools and finishes differently; we strongly recommend that you test your process first on a sacrificial plank or out-of-the-way area before beginning to avoid problems with your floor.
Due to the density of strand woven bamboo flooring, we recommend only using a high PSI, high quality 18 gauge pneumatic nailer, such as a Primatech Q550 ALR or Powernail 50P Flex. These nail guns require an air compressor. You must use an 18 gauge cleat, as larger cleats will cause dimpling. Staple guns will not work on strand woven floors. When nailing down a floor we typically recommend you first lay 15 lb felt paper.
For moldings installation we recommend a Bostich Porter 23 gauge micro nailer or similar gun.
For all nailers, make sure cleats and nails are set properly before continuing to the next row, as failure to do so may result in goosebumps/dimpling. You may need to try several pressure/PSI settings before finding a setting that will work – test on sacrificial planks. Ensure the connector hose, seal, and air compressor are fully functional and have no tears or defects.
If you do not use the correct nail gun or cleat size, you may get dimpling in your floors. Read this important document about goosebumps and dimpling in strand woven bamboo.
NAIL GUN PRESSURE TOO HIGH: ALWAYS practice on a few planks to ensure the correct PSI setting on the nail gun. If the pressure is too high the nail will split the plank. When using the mallet always use small, light taps - as opposed to large, forceful taps – this is the best to get a snug fit.
NAIL GUN PRESSURE TOO LOW: If the PSI is too low you will end up with dimpling (“goosebumps”) on the face of the floor. Always inspect for dimpling from a low angle and with backlighting after installing the first two rows, because it’s difficult to see when standing directly over the area. It is the responsibility of the installer to check each row after it has been nailed down to ensure all cleats are sufficiently embedded in the planks so they don't cause dimpling in the finished floor upon fastening successive rows.
NAIL GUN PRESSURE JUST RIGHT: You will know that the pressure is just right when the cleat is flush or slightly below the surface of the tongue.
Tongues are slightly splitting – that is okay!
When nailing down extremely dense hardwoods like strand bamboo and eucalyptus there is a chance that the tongue on the planks will crack or split when the cleat is driven in. As long as less than 30% of the cleats have splitting around them, and the splitting is minor, this is perfectly normal and is not considered a defect (your floor will still be covered under the warranty if this happens) as the cleat is still firmly driven into the rest of the board keeping it securely in place. When splitting is happening try to use less force when striking the nailer with the mallet. Below is an image showing acceptable splitting, if occurring on less than 30% of the planks.
- You can send an email with your desired materials list or purchase order to [email protected], and our support team will email you a quote with a payment button.
- You can call our support team directly at (866) 710-7070 and place your order over the phone.
We highly recommend you review our Shipping Policy, which has a lot of great information and a short video about the shipping process. When your order ships out we’ll send you a notification email with all of your shipping information. Once the shipment arrives at the local freight terminal near your delivery location, the terminal staff will call you to schedule a delivery appointment* (weekdays, usually a 2-6 hour window). Make sure you don’t miss the delivery appointment or the freight company may charge a hefty re-delivery fee. *if you have selected commercial/freight dock delivery, freight may be delivered without needing an appointment
Once the order arrives, ensure you mark any damages you see on the driver’s bill of lading (they’ll then usually give you a copy). You don’t have to open and inspect every item, just look at the outside of the pallet – that is where the shipping damage will be. Ensure you write the number of damaged items and detailed notes, then take photos of the damaged items and email all of this information to your Ambient representative to ensure we can ship out free replacements.
Important note: If your delivery location is located on a road that cannot be accessed by a semi-trailer truck, you may be required to pick the freight up at the local terminal or meet the driver at an intermediary location.
We accept the following payments:
1. All major credit and debit cards.
2. Personal and bank checks (please note there may be a 14-day shipping delay).
3. ACH payments.
4. Paypal. In fact, PayPal Credit offers financing.
None of our products are brought inside the delivery location by the driver. All small parcel shipments are at the discretion and policy of the shipping company. All freight shipments are curbside delivery with lift-gate unless you specifically request freight dock delivery. Curbside delivery means they lower the pallet on the street at the end of the driveway. The drivers are not required to enter the property boundaries, although if not hazardous sometimes they’ll back up the driveway (if it’s flat and short) and drop the pallet on the driveway.
Someone must be on-site to receive the delivery and inspect it for exterior damage, and then note any damage on the driver’s bill of lading (otherwise we can’t send free replacements). We highly recommend that you do not pay laborers to sit around and wait for the delivery, as the freight companies do sometimes miss appointments and they do not reimburse for such lapses. In some cases at the time of checkout, our website will allow you to add "Garage Delivery" for an additional fee, but this includes rolling the materials pallet into a carport or garage only, and terms and conditions apply.
For nail down installations, we recommend that you use either 15 lb felt paper (asphalt-saturated roofing paper, essentially) or red rosin paper.
Please note that 3-in-1 underlayment should only be installed under floating floors and should not be used in nail-down installations, as the compressive quality of the pad can result in loose nails, compromised structural stability, and noisy floors.
Yes, we sell several different products that provide sound insulation - underlayment and adhesive. To see these products visit our Installation Supplies page and check out our underlayments and adhesives. Many condominiums have sound insulation requirements for flooring. There are two sound tests that are the industry standard for sound insulation: IIC and STC. We have ratings as high as 83 STC and 85 IIC for underlayments and as high as STC 70 and IIC 66 for adhesives. The biggest benefit to using our high STC/IIC underlayments and adhesives is that you do not need to buy cork or other soundproofing and then pay someone additional to install it. Just float the flooring over the underlayment or glue the floor down using the sound reduction adhesive and you can substantially reduce sound transmission between levels in your home as well as muffling sounds from footsteps.
FLOATING FLOORS. In order to choose the right underlayment you have to ask yourself two questions: Do I need moisture protection, and how much am I willing to pay for sound reduction. When installing over concrete or over a crawl space, an underlayment with a moisture barrier (usually a thin layer of plastic or foil) is a must-have. This protects your wood floor from moisture rising up and damaging your floor from beneath. These are called 3 in 1 underlayment.
What are the 3 features of a 3 in 1 underlayment?
1) Moisture/vapor barrier
2) Impact absorption and sound transfer reduction
3) Cushioning for comfort
Remember that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin the installation, as the underlayment only accounts for minor sub-floor imperfections. The second question having to do with how much sound reduction you want is simple - all underlayments have STC and IIC ratings that tell you how much sound they block. The lower the rating, the higher the echo or knocking sound when you walk on the floor. Underlayment with a 70+ STC and IIC rating will muffle noise much better than an underlayment with a 50 STC rating. As you may have guessed, underlayments with higher STC and IIC ratings are more expensive due to the quality of the materials or thickness of their construction.
While it can be a bummer if your shipment arrives damaged – it is not the end of the world! We can easily send you free replacements for anything that was damaged in transit - all we ask is that you do not refuse the shipment and mark any damages on the receipt provided by the driver. After that, please take a few photos of product while it is still on the pallet and email them to [email protected] so we can make a record on your account. Then, please examine the items further once you've brought them inside to determine the extent of the damage, and take photos of affected areas if you require replacements. Once we receive the details and photos we will send out the replacements right away. Most of the time, installers will be able to work around the damage instead of waiting to get replacements. For more information please see our Shipping Policy page.
Occasionally you will have an item with a visible defect either in the stain, finish, or milling. Like most building materials suppliers our effective defect rate is under the industry-standard 3%. However, if you are finding that more than 3% of the product you have ordered has defects, please let us know as soon as possible so we can resolve the matter quickly.
We recommend that you review our handy Return Shipping Guide to see the detailed steps to return your order.
If your existing wood floor is clean and level, you can usually nail down or glue down a wood floor to it without issue but you may need to perform a light sanding first depending on the situation (your installer should be able to advise on the best course of action here). Additionally, you can only nail down to an existing hardwood floor if it is at least 5/8" thick. In case of either the glue down or the nail down option, we highly recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced flooring professional.
Yes, we may be able to accommodate this, but please note that we may still apply a small shipping and handling fee to your order. Please reach out to your sales representative for details.
Yes! Some adhesives will fail spectacularly if you use the incorrect trowel size and design, so using the correct trowel(s) is a must.
We currently sell two types: 1/4" x 1/8” Square notch for our basic urethane adhesive (no vapor or sound retarder) and a 1/4" x 1/4" V-Notch trowel that is used with our urethane adhesive with sound and vapor retarder. The V-Notch is designed to provide a thicker layer of adhesive so you have a complete layer/seal on the slab.
Pro Tip: Don’t skimp when troweling down vapor barrier adhesive or your floors will cup later! The Square notch trowel puts down about 85% coverage which is enough to hold down the floor on plywood or places where a sound and vapor barrier isn't required.
Absolutely! We’ve shipped our products to such far-flung locations as Guam, Kenya, Tanzania, Bahrain, Great Britain, Kuwait, France, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and many more. Please note that international shipments may require you to procure the services of a freight forwarder at the port of discharge; most port authorities can provide recommendations for reputable freight forwarders that service your home port. Also, minimum order quantities may apply to some countries. Call your Ambient representative today at (866) 710-7070 for shipping quotes to your country!
No. Only an 18 gauge cleat nailer should be used to nail down strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus flooring (along with 18 gauge cleats). If you use 16 gauge cleats, they are likely to cause dimpling on your floors as described in this article.
Furthermore, using any cleat or staple other than an 18 gauge cleat may cause cracks and splits in the tongue that will cause further issues down the road.
Need help finding out how many cleats you'll need to nail down your floors? Use our handy cleat/nail calculator!
3 in 1 underlayment should never be used when nailing down a floor. These underlayments are nullified as a vapor barrier once you nail through them, and the compression of the pad results in the loosening of the cleats over time, which can result in noise squeaks and also structurally compromise the floor. Most installers use 15 lb asphalt-saturated felt paper when nailing down a floor, it reduces wood-on-wood squeaking and helps wick moisture away from the bottoms of the flooring planks (please note that 15 lb felt paper is not a vapor barrier!).
Remember, if you're nailing down a strand woven bamboo floor, it is required you use an 18 gauge cleat nailer.
At Ambient, we value the brave men and women that serve in our nation's armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We offer a 5% discount off all products for active-duty members of our U.S. armed forces and full-time local and state law enforcement. Clearance items and odd lots do not qualify for this discount and it cannot be combined with other promotions. Call (866) 710-7070 for additional details.
We do not recommend installers. However, you have several options available to you to locate a good installer:
- Ask friends and family. Someone you know has had wood flooring installed within the last 5 years. Ask neighbors, friends, family and coworkers if they were happy with their wood floor installer and if so get their name. Contractors appreciate word-of-mouth referrals and some may even offer a "neighborhood" discount. Yelp is also a good way to find installers; look for those with a minimum of 3-5 reviews.
- Do your homework. If a contractor disparages a certain product and tries to convince you to buy one of their own floors, be wary. Sometimes this is done because of a bad experience with a low quality brand in the past, and other times they're trying to earn an extra commission from a product distributor.
- Get at least 3 estimates. Most installers will give you a free estimate over the phone or charge a small fee (from $20-$50) to do an in-home estimate. Try to cover all bases and ask as many questions as possible to get a good sense of their experience and knowledge.
- Pay a fair wage. Doing price comparisons is vital for you as a consumer. The vast majority of floor installers are honest, hard-working men and women that charge a fair wage and are working to support their families. If they go above and beyond it doesn't hurt to give them a tip at the end of the project.
- Request a warranty. The best installers are confident in their installation skills and will offer a warranty to back up their workmanship.
- Plan ahead. You'll want to assume that most installers are booked up with jobs for the ensuing 2-3 weeks, so the earlier you start getting estimates the better off you'll be. Also remember that most of our bamboo floors require at least a 3-day acclimation period, so you'll need to factor that into your plans as well.
For flooring and plywood we strongly recommend ordering a sample before placing your final order, so you can ensure that the shading will be to your liking. Our flooring and plywood samples have a dye lot number sticker on the back of them. Our website checkout process will ask you to type in this dye lot number before final payment; alternatively, if ordering via email or over the phone simply mention this lot number to your Ambient representative and we will update the order with it and ship that exact lot number. If we don't have that lot number available (it has sold out) but we have a matching lot, we will ship the matching lot. If we do not have a matching lot, we will not ship your order until you approve samples of the new lot.
Please remember that photographs on our website are taken from a variety of devices and under many different lighting conditions, and are viewed on a wide range of computer monitors and contrast settings, thus we do not guarantee that any floor will match the photographs on the website. If you order your flooring sight unseen (without receiving samples first), Ambient is not responsible for light or shading variation or differences and thus not responsible for return shipping costs (which can be expensive and can vary greatly depending on where you live and the size of your order).
If you receive the order from the exact lot number you requested, or you order sight unseen (you do not provide a dye lot number at checkout), and you decide after it arrives that you want to return the order, you will be responsible for return shipping charges. For flooring orders, please see our 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee for more information.
Yes you can! However you must use our urethane adhesive with vapor and sound retarder** in combination with our Super Silencer underlayment. For maximum effect, you can first glue the underlayment down to the sub-floor, then glue the flooring down to the underlayment. You will need a 1/4 in by 1/4 in v-notch trowel, and some adhesive remover wipes are always recommended when gluing down any floor.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: IXPE-backed flooring is not recommended for glue down installation and is not warranted if installed via this method; however, floors backed with cork underlayment are warranted for glue down installation. Be sure to confirm that your flooring choice is compatible for glue down installations before following the steps above.
There are a few concrete sealer products on the market you can find via basic web search and also some glue down flooring adhesives with unlimited upper moisture limits that are suitable for these types of installations such as Bostik Single-Step. You can always test the moisture levels in your concrete using a calcium chloride test kit.
The IIC and STC ratings represent how much sound blockage there is. For example a rating of 70 is a measurement of the total sound blockage for the whole system (floor + glue) when installed on a 6" suspended slab with a ceiling system beneath. The Delta IIC is the difference in sound AFTER the barrier is put in. I.e. the Delta IIC reflects the change in impact insulation as a result of the floor and glue system. A Delta IIC of 20 is very good.
If you'd like to know more we recommend reading this page.
For legal businesses that qualify as a trade account (must be in the building trades), or you plan to order more than $10,000 cumulatively in building materials in the future on multiple projects, we encourage you to apply for a trade account on our B2B page. Our wholesale discounts vary depending on sales volume and can range from 5% to 35% off our retail prices. We also offer container level pricing for large projects at extremely competitive prices, and can manufacture a large array of products not featured on our website such as custom thicknesses, lengths, widths, colors and surface treatments (minimum order quantities apply).
The short answer is – it depends on a lot of factors! There are many different concrete and cement products from various manufacturers on the market today. Because the components are going to differ from product to product, there is no set time frame. Although, the product manufacturer should have instructions that may list drying or curing times. Other big factors are the humidity levels, temperature, and whether or not you have fans blowing as those can all affect curing times.
The best way to determine if the subfloor is ready to be glued down to is to use to perform a calcium chloride test to ensure the vapor emission from the subfloor in question does not exceed the upper moisture limit of the adhesive you plan on using. Take for example our very own urethane adhesive with vapor barrier and sound retarder, which can be used on slabs with moisture emissions up to 20 lbs (per 1,000 square feet). That means if your calcium chloride test results come back under 20 lbs (per 1,000 square feet), then you are good to go! But let us say your test results came back at 6 lbs (per 1,000 square feet) but your adhesive is only rated for 3 lbs (per 1,000 square feet), then your floors are very likely to cup as the moisture in the slab exceeds the capabilities of the adhesive.
Typically, if the finished basement is climate controlled, you do not need a moisture barrier in between the subfloor and the new floor you are installing. However, some basements can emit excessive humidity – upwards of 70%. To be sure, we recommend testing the humidity with a hygrometer to get an accurate idea of the indoor air humidity, and you can also test the humidity on the main grade sub-floor itself.
If excessive moisture is coming up from the basement, you have a few options:
1) Glue down the floor using an adhesive with a vapor barrier.
2) Choose a click-lock floating floor and install on top of a 3 in 1 vapor barrier underlayment.
Both of these will seal off your floor and protect it from any sub-floor moisture.
Adhesive remover wipes are designed to clean up wet adhesive before it dries. Wet glue is much more difficult to remove with soap and water, but the wipes have a special compound that helps to break down the glue.
Once flooring adhesive dries it is impossible to remove and will irreparably damage your floor finish, as the topcoats will be stripped away when you remove the dried glue. Absolutely never use mineral spirits to remove any glue from our floors, as mineral spirits will damage uv-cured urethane finishes
If adhesive dries on your finish, we advise that you put some of the Adhesive Remover liquid on the spot, let it sit for 10 minutes and then use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This can get in the pores of the finish and get most of the glue off, but please note that you may still damage the floor finish itself.
No, you should never add any substance (glue, silicone, etc) in between the click-lock profile/mechanism. In fact, you'll want to ensure that the click-lock profile/,mechanism is clear and free of all debris prior to clicking the planks together or else you could compromise the stability of the connection.